Buying Advice

Let’s Talk About Water Meters, Easements and Surveys

Did you know that there are properties on Maui where the water meter is not located on the property it services? Nor is it located on the street where the property is located? This primarily occurs in more remote areas of the island such as Kula, Haiku, Hana and Makawao but it can occur almost anywhere. There are subdivisions that were developed many years ago where the water line travels along the top boundary of the property from a major street and must cross the top boundary of neighboring properties to reach the property that it services.

The Importance of Easements

In a case like this, there needs to be an easement in place that gives the owner of the water meter access to the neighbors’ property when it is necessary to inspect, repair, replace or maintain the water line. If this document is not correct or does not exist, you may find yourself in the position of not having access to water on your property. Many people new to Maui are not aware of these issues when they show or list properties. Make sure you work with someone who knows the right questions to ask about water meters, water lines and easements.

Take a Look at the Survey

Surveys are also important especially in large land holding situations. Utility easements, the location of septic systems or cesspools on a property, encroachments with neighbors all can be addressed with the survey of the property. It is important to note where fences or walls are located, who owns the fence/wall and whether there are easements on a property for egress and ingress of neighbors. Some easements have been in place for over 50 years and were given at a time when access from a different location to a property was important. It may be obsolete now, but if it is still on title, then your neighbor still has use of that easement!

Challenges May Arise

Make sure you are aware of challenges that may come up when you are purchasing a property with water meters, easements and surveys. They are important details that can completely change the outcome of a purchase if there is something that is discovered during the course of escrow.  The waterline easement should be properly documented on the title report for the property and should “run with the land” to ensure that new owners are able to receive water from the meter.

Want to Learn More?

If you are looking to buy or sell a property on Maui, give me a call and I will be happy to assist you with your questions and help you search for your home on Maui. I can be reached at

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